So, what exactly is a headshot photo? It can mean very different things to a lot of different people. And, what is the difference between a headshot and a portrait? Generally speaking, a headshot is a close-up of someone’s face, usually from around the shoulders up. And, also generally speaking, the difference between a headshot and portrait is that a headshot is commonly used for marketing purposes. Are there other differences that should be known? Yes.
Actors need headshots for their careers. Headshots are essentially the core of their resume. Sure, they need to list relevant experience on their resume like everyone else but, their look is essential. A good headshot for an actor is everything.
Typically, most actors will need at least a commercial headshot and a theatrical headshot. The difference between these two shots should be clear. The commercial headshot is commonly well and evenly lit with a bright cheery background. A theatrical headshot goes for dramatic looks. Often, part of the face is in shadow and the background might also be darker. The two photos are used for submitting to casting directors for two very different roles.